Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging the sources of information you have consulted. Anything - words, figures, theories, ideas, facts - originating from another source and used in your assignment must be referenced (i.e. acknowledged).
Referencing is done for the following reasons:
Let's look at an example:
You are writing an assignment about "Compiling a CV" and you consulted a book of J P Rendell, called "Getting that job: a guide to writing your own CV". In this book you have found a quotation that you want to include in your assignment. You do that as follows:
"Writing a CV is similar to writing a sales letter - you are, in fact, selling yourself - your skills and aptitudes." (Rendell, 1986:36). The following is an example of the bibliographic entry when using the Harvard Referencing Style:
Rendell, J.P. 1986. Getting that job: a guide to writing your own CV. 2nd ed. London: Clive Bingley
Different organisations have developed different referencing styles. The style you have to use is prescribed by your academic department or faculty. A specific style is usually also prescribed by the publisher or the journal for which you are writing, if you intend publishing. Style manuals are published and updated by the originating organisations. They are available in printed format but also online on the Internet. Two examples of referencing styles are:
|Style Name||Developed by|
|Harvard Style||Harvard University|
|Vancouver Style||International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and National Library of Medicine|
The most-used style at Cape Peninsula University of Technology is the Harvard Referencing Style, but the medical field uses the Vancouver Referencing Style. Check with your lecturer which style you should use. Styles are never mixed - once you have decided on a style you follow that style only and you follow it to the letter. In other words you should follow it exactly.
In-text referencing should appear in the main body of the text to indicate the source of your information.
" Most simply, plagiarism is intellectual theft. Any use of another author’s research, ideas, or language without proper attribution may be considered plagiarism."
It is unethical and illegal to submit someone else's work as your own - it is the same as stealing.
Plagiarism can take various forms. It can be blatant theft or accidental "borrowing". See the following examples:
Although this sometimes happens accidentally, it is still considered plagiarism:
The Penn State University lists the following reasons why plagiarism is wrong:
1. The plagiarist denies him/herself an opportunity to acquire skills for future use.
2. If caught, the plagiarist casts his/her previous record of performance to doubt.
3. The plagiarist commits fraud on those who are evaluating his/her work.
4. The plagiarist deprives others of due credit
5. Plagiarism smacks of disrespect for your classmates in that they work hard for the marks they get.
1. Plagiarism devalues the University in that your employers will blame the institution when you do not have the required skills in future.
2. If caught, you may face disciplinary action.
3. You may fail an assignment, course or even your academic programme.
4. Students may lose their bursaries
5. Repeat offenders may be dismissed and blacklisted by the University and other institutions.